Hurricane Harvey caused more than $200 million in crop and livestock losses, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economists.
Their tally comes a month after Harvey dropped an estimated 19 trillion gallons of rain in Southeast Texas.
The effects of Hurricane Harvey will linger for quite some time with our Texas farmers and ranchers. Many South Texas or coastal area cotton farmers were on the verge of harvesting one of the best crops ever in Texas, while some ranchers were unable to save some cattle from insurmountable flood waters.
Livestock accounted for about $93 million of the total ag losses. Livestock losses could have been “far worse,” but many associations joined AgriLife Extension to set up animal supply points, providing livestock with fresh hay and feed donated from across Texas and neighboring states. Hay and feed donations were valued at more than $1.3 million.
Livestock losses include not only cattle and calves that died during the hurricane but also industry infrastructure, said an AgriLife Extension livestock economist in College Station. Beyond animals lost directly due to the storm, extensive supplies of hay for winter-feeding were destroyed.
“What you must take into consideration is the replacement costs of hay that was destroyed from the high flood waters,” the economist said. “We are right on the verge of entering winter feeding season and ranchers will have to find replacement hay that averages $63 per round bale. A rancher may typically feed two or more round bales per cow during winter, so even if there isn’t hay available they will still have to purchase some type of supplemental feed. All of this comes with a hefty price.”
Meanwhile, cotton losses amounted to $100 million, and rice and soybean losses were $8 million.
Source: meatingplace.com, 10/31/2017